I spent six summers as a camper at Berkshires ‘graduating’ Gesher 2000, my favorite summer at Ramah! Aside from CIT’ing it was a nearly perfect summer; I was a captain of Chug Basketball (42-27 Berkshires Win!), I had a large part in our play (Joseph), had a girlfriend for a week (six months in camp time) and left with the strongest summer friendships I’d ever had.
When I boarded the bus back to Beth Shalom in Teaneck I brought with me a box of keep sakes from my epic summer along with promises of friendships I’d keep and a legacy I was hoping to pass on as a counselor and Chug basketball coach.
Over the next seven years I had little contact with my Ramah friends and no affiliation with Berkshires. I never seized the opportunity to work at camp as I decided I was too cool to be tied down and thought it was more important to see concerts and have free time (in my defense I was pretty cool). Next thing I knew I was going to college out west and slowly I lost touch with the last of my Ramah connections.
In 2007, I moved back east and slowly re-integrated with my Ramah friends and eventually decided that I would go to Labor Day and play RBA. Reconnecting with those friends reminded me how special Ramah is and gave me all new material to make fun of my friends who went to other camp (what you guys don’t have an alumni weekend with a bar and 80’s cover band?). Four years later I’m a member of the Alumni Association Hanhalah as Co-Commissioner of RBA, haven’t missed a labor day since and have four of my Gesher bunkmates as groomsmen at my wedding in January.
In camp we used to sing Ramah At Chaverim Tovim and we were supposed to scream “that’s true” in between versus but I believe we said something else instead (temporary amnesia).
Between labor day, RBA, countless birthdays and weddings, fantasy leagues, and the fact that I’m the only member of Hanhallah who never worked at camp, I am living proof that Ramah is home to great friendships (it’s true).